Galloping into 2014

It is 2014, the Year of the Horse.  We like horses, although we don't know much about them and the kidz have only seen them in parades.  But in China and for those celebrating the Chinese New Year, it is a big deal.

Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Windows and doors are decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness," "wealth," and "longevity." Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.  I'm sure the color is significant, but not sure why.

Although the Chinese calendar traditionally does not use continuously numbered years, outside China its years are often numbered from the reign of the 3rd millennium BCE Yellow Emperor. But at least three different years numbered one are now used by various scholars, making the year beginning ADE 2014 the "Chinese Year" 4712, 4711, or 4651.

Happy New Year!

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